Friday, December 05, 2008

Why Do People Eat Fast Food?

This is a question I ask myself daily when I see lines at the drive-thru. I think, don't they know what's in that stuff? Why would you want to eat that?

The Journal of the American Dietetic Association just published a study that answered my question, "Why Eat at Fast-Food Restaurants: Reported Reasons among Frequent Consumers."

According to the study, the main reason people eat fast food is that it is fast. 92 percent of the individuals surveyed agreed on this rationale. The next most popular reason? Easy to get to, 80 percent.

Liking the taste fell to a distant 69 percent, barely edging out "cheap" at 63 percent.

Fast, easy, cheap. These are the defining terms for the relationship with our food for nearly one in four adults and children daily, and at least three times a week per person. It sounds more like a relationship you'd have in a back alley rather than on your family dinner table.

An interesting point the study brought to light is that only 20 percent of the respondents felt the food was "nutritious." The majority knowingly make a poor nutrition choice, valuing "quick" and "convenient" over even their own health.

11 percent cited the restaurants as "fun and entertaining." People, you need to get out more.

The study concluded that, with the tie between these food choices and our current obesity epidemic, that the best hope for changing eating habits would be to make healthy choices just as fast and convenient, or to get the fast food chains to make healthier items.

Me, I'll keep taking it slow. I like having a long, healthy and satisfying relationship.


Susy said...

I would describe fast food as nasty and questionable. I wouldn't describe it as cheap - I can do much better for less money. I think fast food is expensive, especially for what you're getting.

I always carry a granola bar, some nuts and an apple or dried fruit in my purse in case I get hungry. I would rather not eat out if I don't have to.

It's actually much faster to make a sandwich at home and take it with you along with some veggies & fruit.

Expatriate Chef said...

Agreed! Great tips!

jen said...

well. sometimes one just wants a cheeseburger. perhaps it's laziness or unconsciousness. i am perhaps attuned to both.

Bharti said...

hey..first time here.
I think people just don't have the time or inclination to "think" about it. They know it's not healthy but they don't want to take the time (or don't have the time) to think of more nutritious choices.
Once can just as easily stop a supermarket to pick up some hummus, pita and fruit, but's almost like people need to get "in touch" with real food again.

fast food packaging said...

So on the one hand, we have many companies in the fast food industry to readjust their business models to attack new markets overseas and abroad, making deals and mergers, all amid a price war . Simply choose Restaurant News Magazine, or take their online newsletters to see that the industry is struggling, and do everything possible to fight for market share. And price wars are quite unpleasant, once again, after all, how many coupons you have on your mailbox this week? And you check the inserts in local newspapers recently.